Erica Jong blames the magazine industry for making people want what they can’t have:

Since passion is about fantasy and marriage is about reality, passion and marriage are the oddest of odd bedfellows. My own experience has been that passion ebbs and flows in marriage. It is far more dependent on romantic vacations and child-free weekends than we like to admit. And when we do check into a fancy hotel with our spouse, as the women̢۪s mags recommend, we̢۪re likely to start talking about whether the roof needs fixing or the car needs tuning. After all, marriage with work and children leaves little time for adult conversation. You might get to that hotel room in the sky and use the time just to converse with your spouse. And you might consider that a perfect evening.

Perhaps the problem is not in our marriages but in our expectations. In our post-sexual-revolution era, we expect carnality and familiarity wrapped up in the same shiny gift package. We would be much happier and much more fulfilled if we changed those unrealistic expectations.

Translation: Grow up?

(Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds)

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. CGHill says:

    Yeah, and if your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle.

    Maybe they are unrealistic expectations, but they’re not ours; they’re the expectations of a culture that for many reasons, some of them good, won’t entertain any other methods of dealing with one’s passions.